This report presents the results of the first part of a study performed for the Maine Department of Transportation on existing methods for the prediction of local scour at bridge piers. This study was carried out in three phases. In the first phase, thirty different pier scour formula were identified. In the second phase, flow data and scour measurements were taken at eight bridge locations. In the final phase, comparisons were made between observed scour conditions and estimates obtained with the equations. The results of the study show that for low flow rates (i.e., summer conditions, or flows with return periods smaller than 2 years) with a Froude Number less than about 0.2, equations which do not include pier width in their formulation provide the best estimates of the observed scour conditions. Equations which do consider pier width in their formulation tend to overestimate the amount of observed scour. The results also show a wide range of variability in scour estimates made with the different formulae for a given flow condition. On the basis of this finding alone, it is difficult to recommend that a single equation be used to estimate scour for all flow conditions. Additional data characterizing peak flow conditions will be gathered in a future study. These data, along with data gathered in this initial study (viz. low flow data), will provide the information necessary to better ascertain the relationships between the observed flow conditions and the performance of the equations.

  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Maine, Orono

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Boardman Hall
    Orono, ME  United States  04469-5711

    Maine Department of Transportation

    Technical Services Division, 16 State House Station
    Augusta, ME  United States  04333
  • Authors:
    • Richardson, J E
    • Panchang, V G
  • Publication Date: 1995-9


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 55 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00725554
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Tech Rept PIN 6289.00
  • Created Date: Sep 12 1996 12:00AM